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Awards and Accolades: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Announce Faculty, Staff Achievements

PITTSBURGH, April 9, 2009 — The faculty, staff and students of the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences often are recognized by academic and scientific societies and other prestigious organizations for their significant achievements and exceptional leadership. Among those whose work has been acknowledged recently with awards and accolades are the following:

  • Alan Russell, Ph.D., director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and professor of surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been ranked number 32 of 100 people who are changing America by Rolling Stone magazine. The list is about the power of ideas and innovation, the power of making people think and move.
  • David J. Hackam, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Pediatric Surgery, and Satdarshan P.S. Monga, M.D., Department of Pathology, both were elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). This honor recognizes the contributions of physician-scientists at a young age. They will officially be inducted into the Society on April 24 at the ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting in Chicago.
  • The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has appointed Rock Heyman, M.D., to serve as Chair of the Society’s National Council of Clinical Advisory Committee Chairs. Dr. Heyman has served as a member of this committee previously and will direct the Regional Clinical Advisory Committees as they implement a new process to better define comprehensive MS care centers in addition to the current efforts to improve clinical effectiveness of the committees. The term for this position runs from January 2009 through December 2011.
  • Sharon Hillier, Ph.D., professor and vice-chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, addressed the President’s Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS on March 24. Dr. Hillier presented an overview of biomedical approaches to HIV prevention which currently are being evaluated. She highlighted the research being coordinated by the Microbicide Trials Network, which is headquartered at the Magee-Womens Research Institute. 
  • David A. Lewis, M.D., professor of translational neuroscience and psychiatry, and David Volk, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, received the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education Kempf Fund Award for Research Development in Psychobiological Psychiatry. This award honors research excellence in the physiological, psychological and/or sociological causes and treatment for the mental disease known as schizophrenia.
  • Hank Weiss, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor, Center for Injury Research and Control, was recently honored with the prestigious Alex Kelter Vision Award from the State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association. The award recognizes individuals who have brought leadership and vision to the field of injury and violence prevention.
  • The Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship program at the University of Pittsburgh has received full accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. It is one of the first 48 programs across the country to be accredited. The program will begin its sixth year this summer. The Fellowship Program offers two positions per year to physicians committed to subspecializing in skilled and compassionate care for patients with life-threatening illnesses.
  • Dennis Ranalli, D.D.S., M.D.S, senior associate dean, School of Dental Medicine, has been named a distinguished member of the Academy for Sports Dentistry. The recognition was presented in honor of Dr. Ranalli’s significant and outstanding service to the Academy, of which he is past president and board member.
  • Mark Gladwin, M.D., chief, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, and director, Hemostasis and Vascular Biology Research Institute; and Michael J. Fine, M.D., M.Sc., professor of medicine, School of Medicine, and director, VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, have been selected for active membership in the Association of American Physicians (AAP). The goals of AAP members include the pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine. Each year, 60 individuals having attained excellence in achieving these goals, are recognized by nomination for membership by the Council of the Association.
  • Joseph C. Maroon, M.D., clinical professor and Heindl Scholar in Neurosciences, UPMC, recently was the honored guest of the Neurological Society of the Chinese Medical Association and the Chinese Academy of Engineering for Medicine and Health. He visited and delivered presentations at The Third Military Medical University of China in Chongqing, the Sichuan University West China Hospital and the First People’s Hospital of Jaing Zhou. Dr. Maroon spoke on novel ways for neuro protection in the prevention of stroke and minimally invasive surgical approaches to spine and disc diseases. The Chinese Neurological and Neurosurgical Association has asked him to return to Beijing in October to present his clinical and research findings at a combined international neurology/neurosurgical forum.
  • David Tumbas, director of Athletic Training and Development at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, served as Head Athletic Trainer with Team USA for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He held the same role in 2006. Mr. Tumbas departed for training camp in Clearwater, Florida in February and traveled with Team USA to Toronto and Miami for the first and second rounds of the World Baseball Classic. He then accompanied the team to Los Angeles for the semi-finals in March.
  • Francis X. Guyette III, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of emergency medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, was recognized as a “top 10 innovator” in emergency medical services in 2008 by the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, with support from Physio-Control Inc. Dr. Guyette’s innovations include implementing therapeutic hypothermia, or cooling of the body, to prevent brain damage in cardiac arrest patients at UPMC. Dr. Guyette also serves as associate medical director of STAT MedEvac.

The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences include the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Graduate School of Public Health. The schools serve as the academic partner to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Together, their combined mission is to train tomorrow’s health care specialists and biomedical scientists, engage in groundbreaking research that will advance understanding of the causes and treatments of disease and participate in the delivery of outstanding patient care. Since 1997, Pitt and its affiliated university faculty have ranked among the top 10 educational institutions in grant support from the National Institutes of Health.

For additional information about the Schools of the Health Sciences, please visit www.health.pitt.edu.

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